Starting Line-up: Caballero; Alonso (46’), Silva (73’), Christensen, James; Kovacic (46’), Kante; Werner, Havertz, Mount; Abraham
Subs: Kepa, Tomori, Azpilicueta (46’), Barkley, Jorginho, Giroud (73’), Hudson-Odoi (46’)
The first half was one which Lampard would like to forget. Packed with missed opportunities most notably from Timo Werner who hit the bar and Tammy Abraham who skied an effort 5 yards out, as well as defensive errors from Alonso and debutant and captain Thiago Silva. Chelsea had majority of the possession for the first few minutes but then West Brom punced on a poor headed pass from Marcos Alonso and were able to capitalise in the 4th minute to make it 1-0 after a good finish into the bottom corner. West Brom were doing well hitting Chelsea on the break and were targeting Marcos Alonso who had a very tough task up against Pereira.
Chelsea raised the performance levels and created two very good chances. One chance came from a beautiful cross in from Reece James to Tammy Abraham who was making the run at the back post however was not able to get his foot over the ball and keep it under the crossbar.
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Chelsea then soon after that had another brilliant chance to score when Timo Werner hit the bar after a cutback from Mason Mount. Chelsea were in the ascendency and it looked like they were going to be the ones to score next however after a poor touch from the captain Thiago Silva, Robinson was able to go through on goal and slot the ball into the back of the net past Caballero. Lampard and the players were shocked by what was going on and the mistakes in defence just continued after West Brom made it 3-0 from a corner after Bartley was able to have a tap in after poor awareness from Alonso and James who allowed him the space to be able to take that shot.
Chelsea struggled for the rest of the half to create chances, Reece James put in a few crosses which didn’t amount to anything and the midfield pairing of Kovacic and Kante didn’t seem to be working as neither were playing those balls into the front 4. West Brom continued to use their pace on the break to hurt Chelsea and they could have easily scored another before the referee blew the whistle for the second half.
Lampard knew this couldn’t continue if Chelsea wanted to get anything out of the game, so he decided to change up the personnel by bringing on Azpilicueta and Hudson-Odoi and instantly the 19 year old had an impact. Callum was using his speed and brilliant close control to take on players to get the ball further up the pitch for Chelsea and this energy rubbed onto the rest of the players as Chelsea were pilling on the pressure. In the 55th minute Mason Mount had got one back for Chelsea after a brilliant shot from outside the box which left the goalkeeper flat footed and with no chance of saving it.
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Chelsea were then able to get another goal after some brilliant play between Hudson-Odoi and Havertz before the Englishman placed the ball into the bottom corner. Lampard knew that there was a chance of getting a point from the game and maybe all 3, so he switched up the system and went to a back 3 by taking off Thiago Silva and introducing Olivier Giroud. West Brom were well and truly on the back foot and were throwing their bodies on the line to stop Chelsea from getting the equaliser.
Despite the home sides determination to keep a hold of their lead, eventually the pressure was too much and Tammy Abraham was able to tap the ball into the net before a shot from Mason Mount was parried out and Chelsea’s number 9 was able to anticipate and react well to the ball landing at his feet. Chelsea had completed the comeback and despite being a horror show in defence were able to fight back to gain a point.
Lampard will once again face a man he is very familiar with, Jose Mourinho, when Chelsea go away to Spurs on Tuesday evening in the Carabao Cup. Although the team may well be rotated around a bit, this is definitely a game which Lampard, the players and the fans will want to win.